The Best External Hard Drive for Photographers – Reviews, Analysis And Comparison In 2020

When internal hard drives are full or when your TV, your Smart TV Box or your corporate network need additional space, having an external hard drive is the best solution. These best external hard drives for photographers to come in a wide variety of capacities and designs, with interesting prices and functions of all kinds, depending on what you need.

 This is what we find in the Maxtor HX-M201TCB / GM external hard drive, which offers you 2 TB of space and USB 3.0 connectivity in a product that barely weighs 168 grams and is similar in size to a smartphone. If you prefer a 2TB model with high resistance, trust the Silicon Power Rugged Armor A65 disc, with a design that is resistant to water, shock and any external threat.

Comparison chart of the best external hard drive for photographers of 2020

Maxtor STSHX-M101TCBM – External Hard Drive 1TB (2.5 “, HDD, USB 3.0 / 3.1), Color Black

This hard drive combines the power of 2TB of storage with a USB 3.0 connectivity that accelerates data transfer on those devices compatible with this new system.

Although the product is accompanied by a USB cable to connect it to any computer, it may not be enough for certain remote ports or in complex locations.

This is an extremely light solution with which to take your data with you wherever you want or make backups easily.

Verbatim 53023 – 1000 GB External Hard Drive, Black

This is one of the toughest hard drives on the market, with IP67 protection against water and moisture, as well as an outer shell that supports bumps and falls of a certain height.

The product has a cable storage system that requires some experience to use it correctly.

This is a hard disk of good capacity and a design capable of withstanding the most demanding and extreme uses.

Silicon Power Rugged Armor A65 – External Hard Drive 2TB (2.5 “, USB 3.0) Color Black (SP020TBPHDA65S3KEU)

This hard drive has been specifically designed to work with your PS4, which translates into reduced loading time and efficient compatibility. Without forgetting its capacity, for approximately 50 games.

The hard disk connection cable is somewhat delicate, so it should be treated carefully to avoid premature deterioration.

An ideal hard drive so you don’t have to go looking for a specific model to connect to your PS4.

The best external hard drive for photographers in the market

The external hard drive has now become a quality tool with which to make copies of our documents, as well as take them with us wherever we want. A versatile product that helps us remarkably in our daily tasks and that, thanks to the advice of our guide to buy the best external hard drive for photographers, you can select without any worries and without having to spend more in the process.

1 TB external hard drive

Maxtor STSHX-M101TCBM

If for you a 1 TB external hard drive is enough, the Maxtor STSHX model may be just what you were looking for. This external 1TB and USB 3.0 hard drive further speeds up the data transfer process, saving you time in accessing them. Therefore, you will not have to wait to save or access your data when working with devices compatible with this new USB 3.0 interface.

An external hard disk of 1 TB that is also compact, with dimensions of 11.8 centimeters long by 8.2 wide and 2 high, weighing just 168 grams. Therefore, it is also the best proposal to use it in mobility.

And if that were not enough, given that the model is among the cheapest external hard drives that we have analyzed, it could very well be the best external hard disk of value for the moment.

Let’s discover some more details about this external hard drive, located among the cheap models, although with adequate efficiency when it comes to protecting your data.

Pros

USB 3.0: The 3.0 connectivity that includes the hard drive allows you to further accelerate data transfer and save time in these processes.

Portability: It is one of the most compact and lightweight devices we have analyzed, so you can take it with you wherever you want.

Finish: The external finish of the disc, which simulates fabric in different shades of black, gives the device an appearance that does not clash almost anywhere.

Cons

A USB cable: The USB cable included with the device may be somewhat short for those users who have to connect the disk to USB ports somewhat remote or difficult to access.

Heat: In hot environments, the hard disk performance may not be adequate, so it is recommended to maintain proper ventilation in the room and the device.

Verbatim 53023

The Verbatim 53023 model is another interesting 1 TB external hard drive with adequate capacity for those who do not require more disk space. A simple model and a quality manufacturer, so you do not have to worry about the security of your data when making backups or carrying all your data always at hand.

A model that, despite being a cheap external hard drive, has quality details such as USB 3.0 connectivity, which speeds up file transfer and saves you time in this process. The disc is also very compact, with measures similar to those of a mobile phone and weighing about 180 grams, so it will not be difficult to take it with you wherever you want.

Learn more about this product and what it offers when it comes to better managing your data.

Pros

Size: This hard drive practically fits in your pocket, without space problems.

USB 3.0: Its 3.0 speed gives you high performance when transferring data.

Recognized brand: We are talking about a model of a recognized brand, which gives you extra security when using your data.

Cons

Cable: The included cable may be somewhat shorter than desirable, according to a comment.

Power: If you use it for a DTT or Smart TV, the power supplied may not be sufficient.

 2 TB external hard drive

Silicon Power Rugged Armor A65

If you are looking for an external hard drive of 2 TB and high resistance, the Silicon Power Rugged Armor A65 has everything you need. And this model has been designed just for those who need products that withstand shock, moisture or dust without deteriorating. For this, it has an outer cover in high-quality silicone, which complies with the IP67 standard. Enough, then, to protect the model adequately and to meet the American army’s test standards efficiently.

Inside we find that 2 TB of storage with remarkable performance in terms of speed, thanks to its USB 3.0 connectivity. A hard drive that is compatible with both Windows and Mac computers, not requiring additional external power to function properly.

This disc gives you all the necessary security so that the device does not deteriorate, as you will see below.

Pros

Protection: This disc withstands shock, moisture and all kinds of risks during use.

Speed: USB 3.0 connectivity gives extra speed when moving your data.

Compatible: The hard drive is compatible with both Windows and Mac computers.

Cons

Dimensions: Even though it is compact, we are talking about a somewhat more bulky disk due to its housing.

Cable storage: Cable storage is complicated, so it can be rolled up during use.

Seagate Backup Plus Slim

If you are looking for a cheap external hard drive within the 2 TB line, the Seagate Backup Plus Slim model has both the capacity and the quality and design necessary to perform properly in terms of managing your data. This disc offers you a slim cut design, so it will be easy to take it wherever you want. And it is that this hard disk has measures similar to those of a mobile, with a weight of only 159 grams.

This external 2 TB hard drive also has USB 3.0 connectivity, thus accelerating the data transfer process compared to other similar models. A functionality that is topped with the quality of this manufacturer, which gives extra security to the data you store on the device no matter how much you move or use it.

We analyze this model below so that you are clear about what you can find when using it.

Pros

Slim: The slim design offers a really compact size and weighing about 159 grams.

Quality: Seagate is always a guarantee of quality when it comes to the product.

Backup: The disk has been optimized for backups.

Cons

Speed: Even with a USB 3.0 port, the model only transfers 220 MB of data per second.

Protection: You miss that you don’t have password protection or your own software.

PS4 external hard drive

Seagate STGD2000400

 If you need an external hard drive for PS4 there are models specially designed for this type of product, such as the Seagate STGD2000400. This external hard drive for PS4 has a nominal capacity of 2 GB and, as we say, has been specially designed for this game console. Something that allows you to store up to 50 games inside, also has a configuration that allows you to access your game library in just a few seconds.

A model that is also compatible with both the original PS4 and its Slim or Pro versions and, if that were not enough, the product maintains the quality of Seagate, so you will not have to worry about problems in file transfer or in the security of the data you have stored inside.

Complete the storage of your PS4 with this hard drive designed for this console, which we analyze below.

Pros

Compatibility: Being a specific product, you will not have device connectivity problems.

Space: Inside you will be able to store up to 50 PS4 games without complications.

Quick Boot: The hard drive just needs a few seconds to give you access to your games.

Cons

Actual capacity: Due to the disk system, its actual capacity is 3.6 TB.

Cable: The cable tends to be somewhat weak, so it should be treated with care.

4 TB external hard drive

WD My Passport 4TB Black

 The 4 TB WD My Passport Black external hard drive is one of the most interesting models on the market for those who need a good storage capacity. And this hard drive is capable of storing large amounts of data with a good transfer speed based on the new USB 3.0 system.

This 4 TB external hard drive is highly efficient, so it is recommended both for backup and use as a home entertainment center. A resistant model that also has an elegant design, so it doesn’t catch up anywhere you put it.

And to make everything easier, WD’s own software makes the backup process easier, both from your PC and when importing data from social networks or cloud services.

Considered by many users as the best brand of external hard drives, let’s see some more details from one of its most recognized representatives.

Pros

Capacity: Located in the mid-range by storage capacity, the 4 TB that this external hard drive has been more than adequate in both professional and domestic environments.

Transfer speed: The transfer speed of the disk is considerable, reaching about 125 MBps in reading mode according to tests performed by some users.

Software: WD backup software is very efficient and has great fame among users, so it will help you make this process easier.

Cons

Connection cable: The connection cable has its own connector from the manufacturer, so if it breaks or you lose it you must buy another cable.

Partitions: You may have to partition the interior space depending on the use you are going to give to the computer and the disk capacity that the connected device can manage.

SSD external hard drive

Seagate STEB4000200

One of the biggest innovations we have in the market is the external SSD hard drive. This is a technology that we can enjoy with models such as the Seagate STEB4000200 external hard drive.

This technology allows the hard disk to reach speeds of up to 550 Mbps if connected via USB 3.0 to compatible products. An efficient system that is also safer than conventional models, since this disk does not need moving parts to work. Something that ends with an IP55 certification with which the product supports falls of up to 2 meters on hard ground.

And for you to take it wherever you want, this external SSD hard drive has a size similar to that of a credit card, so it will hardly take up even space in your pocket. By the way, although this model has 500 GB capacity, Sandisk offers such disks with up to 2 TB of storage capacity.

Designed especially for when you have to work in mobility, let’s analyze some more aspects of this model and its characteristics.

Pros

SSD System: The SSD system significantly accelerates the speed of data transfer compared to conventional disks, saving you time in the process.

Size: It is one of the smallest and most compact products on the market, so it is much easier to take it with you wherever you want.

Safety: Since the product does not include mechanical parts, it is possible to move it in operation without risk of breakdowns.

Cons

USB 3.0 connectivity: It is necessary to have devices with a USB 3.0 port to maximize the data transfer process.

Cable size: The size of the connection cable is somewhat adjusted, although in case you need it you can always change it to another longer cable.

500 GB external hard drive

Toshiba Canvio Basics

Although they are less and less in demand, it is still possible to find a 500 GB external hard drive, as the Toshiba Canvio Basics model shows us. This hard disk of tight capacity is interesting for those who do not need more storage and do not want to spend more.

This does not mean giving up anything since this 500 GB external hard drive features high-speed technology based on the USB 3.0 port, exclusive USB power, and quality finish.

The same applies to its measurements, 13.8 centimeters long and 12.5 centimeters wide and barely 3.8 centimeters high. As for the weight, this is only 149 grams, which guarantees its adequate portability.

If you are not sure what this model offers you, we give you some more details of the product.

Pros

USB 3.0: The USB 3.0 port accelerates disk performance for faster speed.

Version: This product version has been launched in 2018, for greater quality and safety.

Portable: The disc barely weighs 150 grams and is similar in size to a smartphone.

Cons

Quality: Some user comments that the product tends to fail over time if used intensively.

Housing: The housing is not firm and slips, which can damage the indoor device.

External hard drive 3 TB

Transcend StoreJet 25H3

The Transcend StoreJet 25H3 model is an interesting hard drive with 3 TB capacity, combined with an exterior design that prevents damage or deterioration. And it is that this model reaches the demanding military-grade in terms of resistance, having an outer cover that absorbs shocks and prevents moisture from doing its own when using the device.

A strong hard drive on the outside and powerful inside, thanks to its compatibility with USB 3.1 connectivity. Something that speeds up performance and data transfer, saving you time on all your tasks. It also saves you time the software included in the hard drive, which allows you to better organize your backups and copy your files as well as recover deleted or lost files from the disk.

Designed for those who need more data capacity, let’s learn more about this product and its characteristics.

Pros

Capacity: Its capacity is suitable for users of high storage demand.

Protection: The military-type external protection gives great resistance to the device, even in the toughest conditions.

Software: The included software facilitates the integral management of the device, as well as the execution of backups and other similar tasks.

Cons

Power: Depending on where you connect, you may not get enough power to operate via USB.

Dimensions and weight: The outer shell slightly increases the size and weight of this device.

Other products

Maxtor HX-M201TCB / GM

If for you a 1 TB external hard drive falls short, the Maxtor HX-M201TCB / GM may be just what you were looking for. This 2TB and USB 3.0 external hard drive speed up the data transfer process, even more, saving you time in accessing it. Therefore, you will not have to wait to save or access your data when working with devices compatible with this new USB 3.0 interface.

All this is a really compact product, with dimensions of 11.8 centimeters long by 8.2 wide and 2 high, weighing just 168 grams. That is why it is also the best proposal for use in mobility.

And if that were not enough, given that the model is among the cheapest external hard drives that we have analyzed, it could very well be the best external hard drive for photographers for the price-quality ratio of the moment.

Let’s discover some more details about this external hard drive, located among the cheap models, although with adequate efficiency when it comes to protecting your data.

Pros

USB 3.0: The 3.0 connectivity that includes the hard drive allows you to further accelerate data transfer and save time in these processes.

Portability: It is one of the most compact and lightweight devices we have analyzed, so you can take it with you wherever you want.

Finish: The external finish of the disc, which simulates fabric in different shades of black, gives the device an appearance that does not catch up almost anywhere.

Cons

A USB cable: The USB cable included with the device may be somewhat short for those users who have to connect the disk to USB ports somewhat remote or difficult to access.

Heat: In hot environments, it is possible that the performance of the hard disk is not adequate, so it is recommended to maintain the correct ventilation in the room.

Lacie LAC9000604

If when deciding which the best external hard drive is for photographers for your space is key, the Lacie LAC9000604 model will surely interest you. And this external hard drive has a capacity of up to 8 TB of data, so it is suitable for storing everything you need, both at home and in your office.

A large capacity product that is compatible with the modern USB 3.0 interface, thus accelerating the process of data traffic when working with considerable volumes. This is something that the automatic backup software that it includes helps, which simplifies procedures and avoids problems.

As for its exterior, the equipment is protected with a 3 mm aluminum casing, which absorbs possible impacts during transport and placement of the device, for greater safety.

If you are still not sure which external hard drive to buy, know in depth this model in case its characteristics could be of your interest.

Pros

Capacity: Its 8 TB capacity generates one of the highest capacities of all the models we have analyzed.

Compatibility: The product can be used with MAC or PC equipment, as well as using USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, depending on what you need at any time.

Aluminum housing: aluminum housing combines high resistance when it comes to protecting your data with elegant exterior design.

Cons

Transfer speed: Some users comment that the transfer speed may be less than expected, although with a disk format it can be solved.

Noise: The level of noise generated by the device, without being particularly annoying, is somewhat higher than what other models of the market have been generating.

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SanDisk Extreme

One of the biggest innovations we have in the portable hard disk market is the SSD technology. This is a technology that we can enjoy with models such as the SanDisk Extreme external hard drive.

This technology allows the hard disk to reach speeds of up to 550 MBs if connected via USB 3.0 to compatible products. An efficient system that is also safer than conventional models, since this disk does not need moving parts to work. Something that ends with an IP55 certification with which the product supports falls of up to 2 meters on hard ground.

And for you to take it wherever you want, this external hard drive has a size similar to that of a credit card, so it will hardly take up even space in your pocket. By the way, although this model has 500 GB capacity, Sandisk offers such disks with up to 2 TB of storage capacity.

Designed especially for when you have to work in mobility, let’s analyze some more aspects of this model and its characteristics.

Pros

SSD System: The SSD system significantly accelerates the speed of data transfer compared to conventional disks, saving you time in the process.

Size: It is one of the smallest and most compact products on the market, so it is much easier to take it with you wherever you want.

Safety: Since the product does not include mechanical parts, it is possible to move it in operation without risk of breakdowns.

Cons

USB 3.0 connectivity: It is necessary to have devices with a USB 3.0 port to maximize the data transfer process.

Cable size: The size of the connection cable is somewhat adjusted, although in case you need it you can always change it to another longer cable.

Guide to buy external hard drives for photographers

The external hard drive has now become a quality tool with which to make copies of our documents, as well as take them with us wherever we want. A versatile product that helps us in a remarkable way in our daily tasks and that, thanks to the advice of our guide to buy the best external hard drive for photographers, you can select without any worries and without having to spend more in the process.

Shopping guide

External hard drive type

If we had done this guide some time ago, the first section we would have dedicated to would be the capacity of the disc. But the actuality of the market currently leads us to have to ask ourselves what kind of hard disk is right for us, beyond that capacity. And it is enough to take a look at any comparison of external hard drives to see that there are today two large groups of products.

One of these groups would be formed by conventional hard drives, which are currently the most suitable for backup and mass data storage, provided that it is not going to be used frequently. The cost per GB of storage is cheaper and, generally, the disks have the quality to withstand the passage of time without deterioration. It is true that they are somewhat more sensitive to shock than SSD products.

The other group is the new models that have reached the market, such as SSD external hard drives. These have a reading speed that can multiply by 10 the speed of conventional discs, apart from mechanical parts in the process. Therefore, these disks are faster and more efficient, although in exchange for a higher cost per GB of storage. So they are suitable for discs that are used frequently and that require a high transfer rate.

Storage capacity

Now it is time to talk about the storage capacity of the external hard drive that we are evaluating. This is something that has a significant influence on how much the product costs and also depends on the type of hard disk that we are considering buying, as we will see below.

In the case of conventional hard drives, it is currently not convenient to buy any model that is less than 500 GB capacity, these being the cheapest external hard drives we found. This is a capacity that increases to 4 TB of conventional external hard drives. However, the measure is increased to 8 or 10 TB, either through NAS systems and other more advanced options to take advantage of that space.

As for external hard drives of the SSD type, the capacity is now much tighter. Specifically, the most common disks are between 128 and 512 GB of storage. A tight capacity, although it should be remembered that it will normally be used frequently, so you may not need as much space as a conventional disk. Anyway, although its cost is not exactly economical, it is possible to find models of up to 2TB capacity, in case you need them.

Portability and product connectivity

To finalize our advice, it is time to talk about the connectivity and portability of the model we are evaluating. Starting at the end, it would be necessary for the hard drive to have an adjusted weight, as well as appropriate measures, so that it is not difficult for you to take it with you wherever you want, both inside and outside your office.

Regarding connectivity, it is essential that the product we choose already has a modern USB 3.0 connectivity. Something key so that the data transfer reaches a high level and, therefore, you do not have to wait too long to move large amounts of data, having good transfer speeds. This is something that does not increase the cost of the product excessively and will save you time on those transfers.

A process in which it is also convenient to verify that the product has a system that does not require external power, as is the case with older hard drives. So it will only be necessary to proceed to connect the disk to your computer through that USB socket, so that the hard disk starts working, without further complications.

Frequently asked questions

Q1: Why doesn’t my computer recognize my external hard drive?

One of the main reasons why a computer does not recognize an external hard drive has to do with the connection cable. These cables tend to deteriorate over time, especially if they bend or connect and disconnect frequently. So, as a first step, we must verify the correct connection between the cable and its condition.

If this is adequate, we may want to change both that connection cable and the port to which we are connecting the hard disk. And if both elements work correctly but we still don’t see the hard drive on another computer, maybe the port of the disk itself may have been damaged, which has a bad fix.

Q2: How to format an external hard drive for MAC?

The process of formatting a hard disk is the first step that we must take to use it on a Mac computer. To do so, we will access the disk utility offered by Mac and choose the type of hard disk we want, depending on where we want the Same can be read. In this case, the most convenient would be Mac OS plus system, which is the system that Apple uses in its computers. We will add a name to the hard drive and we will apply it to start the formatting process. Once it is finished, we can use the hard disk without any problem with our Mac computer.

Q3: How to eject an external hard drive?

The process of ejecting an external hard drive, as with other external storage units, is essential to prevent damage to the drive and data loss. To proceed with that expulsion, we will go to the Windows clock area, we will look for the corresponding icon to eject items safely and we will select the letter of the hard disk that we want to eject.

Once the process is finished, we will see a warning on the screen, and from that moment on we can physically disconnect the hard drive from the computer without risks. It is important to comply with this procedure every time we want to disconnect the disk from a PC or laptop, as not doing so will significantly reduce its useful life and its ability to store data.

Q4: Why does my external hard drive make noise?

In general, external hard drives make the noise of the operation of the product. That is, the noise of the plate when turning and the needle that is responsible for reading the data. However, this noise is very small and it is almost difficult to listen unless we are almost literally with the ear attached to the disc.

However, if the noise generated by the disc is greater than what we have indicated, when it begins to be scandalous or annoying, it may be a sign of a product breakdown. In this case, it is convenient to make a backup of the data that you have stored in that unit, in order to avoid losing them. Once this copy is made, it will be time to send the disc to a specialized technical service, to see if it has a solution to the possible fault or not.

How to use an external hard drive

The use of an external hard drive does not seem to be necessary for a user guide. Simply connect and use it. However, it is necessary to have certain issues present both to extend the life of the product and to protect your data. And this is what we are going to do in this little guide.

Connection and disconnection

When connecting the hard disk, it is necessary to ensure adequate power supply. Current hard drives do not use an additional cable for power supply, but instead, obtain it from the USB cable itself. But in certain devices that supply may not be enough, so you may need a double cable to increase the amount of energy the equipment receives.

As for the disconnection, it is essential that it is always carried out after disconnecting the unit in Windows using the option to disconnect software safely. If we do not, we can damage the data stored inside, as well as the unit itself.

Basic maintenance

As a storage unit in use, the external hard disk must be as careful as a conventional hard disk. So we must check the unit from time to time for errors in its file distribution. Something especially important in case the product is connected and disconnected frequently. It is also desirable to defragment the disk from time to time to speed up its performance. And it does not hurt to pass the antivirus when necessary, thus preventing unwanted visitors from staying inside.

Placing the hard drive

Although it may seem that any site works for us, it is essential that the hard disk is placed correctly. Failure to do so may cause vibrations, displacements and other problems that deteriorate the hard disk. The ideal location of the hard drive is a flat surface and preferably not sliding.

The rubber feet must be placed at the bottom and the connection cable must always be free, without twisting or other elements that may cause deterioration. And by the way, check that the location is fresh and properly ventilated so that the device works without problems.

Cleaning

As the last aspect, let’s talk about disk cleanup. In general, it should only be done when the outer case is dusty or dirty since it can sneak inside and cause premature deterioration of the unit. For this cleaning, it is enough to use a cloth with a mild cleaner.

As for the connection ports, if they contain dust, there is nothing better than compressed air sprays to remove it. If you don’t have one, you can always use a handheld vacuum cleaner to absorb dust and dirt. However, if dust is a problem, there are hard drives specially designed to work in these environments without risk of breakdown.

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